BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: A CONVERSATION ABOUT CUSTOMIZATION IN SKINCARE

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One could argue that customization and personalization have been a trend as long as the beauty industry has existed. Perfumeries have created fragrances for individuals, including royalty and the insanely rich, for centuries. The desire to have something tailor-made is not new, but as consumer appetite for it increases, technology is making it more accessible and scalable.

The topic of customization has been top of mind for us, so we were excited to explore it at the Millennial 20-20 conference in New York, where BeautyMatter founder Kelly Kovack moderated a panel entitled “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, personalization is everything.”

Christine Chang, Co-CEO of Glow Recipe, Sabrina Tan, CEO & Founder Skin Inc, and Jill Tomandi, Vice President Product Development and Innovation at Smashbox, shared how they’re integrating the consumer’s desire for personalization into their brands and their thoughts on scalability. These brands may vary in size and in their approach to personalization, but they agree on the need to reimagine how consumers interact with and purchase beauty.

Glow Recipe, the go-to curators of Korean skincare, are integrating personalization as sales animation. Many K-beauty products like single-use sheet masks lend themselves to mixing and matching based on daily skincare concerns.

Smashbox has leveraged customization in their business for the fall launch of their Be Legendary 120-shade lipstick collection with digital activation and limited-edition 3-D printed lipsticks. They also animate the brand through encouraging influencers to come to the “lab” and create their own shade—fueling excitement and social media engagement. Jill Tomandi’s advice regarding innovation is test small, then scale.

Skin Inc has created a simple regime based on suiting individuals’ specific skincare needs through a custom-blended serum called My Daily Dose. An online quiz of about two dozen questions and an algorithm recommend three out of nine targeted serums to decode individual skin identities and address a consumer’s unique needs.

We followed up with Sabrina Tan, CEO & Founder Skin Inc, after the conference for a mini interview:

1. What role does customization play in your brand? (is it the foundation, a marketing touchpoint, animation at retail, etc)

Skin Inc’s backbone is customization, and we’re the global leader in skincare customization. We started with our signature customized “my daily dose” serum followed on by mask, LED devices and the latest with our moisturizer. Millions of consumers have done our Skin Identity service.

2. Customization is inherently complicated. How do you reconcile the consumer’s desire for customization with their desire for simplicity?

Not anymore with technology and on digital platforms. It is probably much faster with a few ticks online. Look at NIKEiD.

3. The desire for customization isn’t new. One could argue it’s as old as the beauty industry. What do you think is driving the customization segment now—Millennials or technology?

I will say it feeds on each other—the desire of individuality, self-expression, and having that voice heard. And technology and digital enabled that whole life cycle and experience.

Beauty consumers have never been more educated or discerning, making made-to-order beauty a way to differentiate a business in the crowded beauty sector. Startups and established brands are increasingly finding ways to leverage technology to allow consumers to create their ideal products.  Only time will tell if technology is truly going to be able to scale customized beauty. Will customized beauty businesses be the next billion-dollar brands?

Originally written for and published by BeautyMatter

SPRING / SUMMER 2016 REAL-TIME BEAUTY COLOR TRENDS

Spring/Summer 2016 is fueled by a sense of distinction. Individualism is at an all-time high. Women are tired of trying to be someone or something other than themselves, and are embracing a more accepting attitude. They want to achieve the best version of themselves, rather than an unattainable ideal.

This season, unique looks were created for individual models at select shows on the SS16 runway – a testament to the heightened desire for personal expression. This exploration is expressed in two divergent movements. The first is a minimalist aesthetic that favors a sleek “no makeup” makeup look, relying on color correcting concealers and a light-handed contour to create an enhanced version of natural. The second takes a more maximalist approach, celebrating color whole-heartedly with bold strokes of the season’s biggest hues. These are featured below in the most indispensable color trends in cosmetics for SS16.

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BLUE BUZZ

Blue has been buzzing for a number of seasons, and SS 16 sees this cool tone gain even more momentum. A current societal preoccupation with water—from rising sea levels to floods and droughts—brings us face to face with aquatic influence. Splashing out around the eyes in shades of aquamarine and azulene, the look is clean and deliberate, with minimal makeup on the rest of the face. Waterlines are coolly defined in cobalt, or shaded with a single swipe of lapis. Jet-black mascara is upgraded with a slick of sapphire on lashes. Nails lighten up with playful, paler tints in robin’s egg and sky blue hues.

On the runway at: Mary Katrantzou, Roksanda Ilincic, Monique Lhuillier, Missoni.

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SUMMER BERRY

Evolving from the shadowy darks of Fall/Winter 2015-16, intense berry tones ripen as the mercury rises, imbuing ethereal sundresses with an edge. Breaking with traditionally fun and flirty warm weather hues, this sultry femme-fatale style sizzles in the summer heat. A blend of burgundy, smoky purple, and a hint of brown combine to create this intoxicating and dramatic hue. Lips are deeply stained or perfectly defined in matte textures.

On the runway at: Givenchy, Burberry Prorsum, Cushnie Et Ochs, Emporio Armani.

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GROWN UP GLITTER

Glitter grows up this season, with futuristic touches of twinkling pigments and foil. While classic metallics like copper, silver, and gold are most prominent,a twinkling rainbow of shimmering hues is coveted as well. Execution is key, with carefully applied touches of the sparkly stuff on strategic areas around the eyes. A little goes a long way with this flash-forward look, ranging from a delicate row of gemstones to silvery lash tips. Nails take on a subtler effect, in whitened platinum and icy pearl polishes.

On the runway: Delpozo, Leitmotiv, John Richmond

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GLAMO-ROSA

Bringing a touch of lady-like glamour to the season, pink prevails with a sense of whimsy and fun. Women’s fashion has slowly transformed the rosy hue into a modern symbol of female empowerment, and beauty closely follows suit. Cool undertones root this season’s pink in elegance, toning down a girlish connotation. Placement remains classic on the lips, while also taking an adventurous turn, with bold washes on the eyes.

On the runway: Prabal Gurung, Cynthia Rowley, Giamba, Dolce and Gabbana

 

Written for and published by BeautyMatter

All images courtesy of Vogue Runway

SS 15 Color on Fleek

While Spring may have officially began a couple of weeks ago, it wasn't until this past Easter weekend that New Yorkers started to see (and feel) a glimmer of the warmer months to come.

Spring is often a time of "rebirth" and color is the perfect way to breathe new life into your beauty arsenal

My latest  feature in GCI Magazine outlines the season's hottest hues in beauty. Strategic partner Brand Growth Management also picked up the piece, adding some high impact visuals to kickstart imaginations (see below). 

Ease into Spring with moody shadaed pastels, and overload on bold gold as the mercury rises. 

My favorite combination for the season is pairing cool tones from Cue The Blue on the eyes, with the cherry hues of cultuRED on nails (or vice versa). 

Spring/Summer 2015 is one of experimentation. Color application is becoming more liberal and spontaneous, so get playful and brighten up that visage, post-winter hibernation!

Teal Appeal

Pastel hues have become de rigueur on the strands of It girls everywhere. As women become more comfortable with unconventional color, deeply saturated hues enter the market for hair. Leading the movement is teal. The shade became popular in the cosmetics and nail category last year and is now starting to make waves for tresses. The combination of blues and greens combine for shimmering mermaid-esque manes.  Influencers such as Nicole Richie, Kylie Jenner and Langley Fox are experimenting with cooler tones.

Color-forward London-based salon Bleach is a pioneer of this water-inspired hue. Their DIY dyes in Washed Up Mermaid and Sea Punk encourage a relaxed ocean vibe. 

Sweet Inspiration

I often look to industries outside of the one I'm working in for inspiration, finding an innovative approach to color, texture and packaging.  The chocolate industry has seen a surge of creativity, full of interesting design in both product and wrapping.  

Lisa Doyle of GCI Magazine recently interviewed me about the importance of color in packaging. In the feature, she explores why I've been drawn to this recent inspiration:

The chocolate industry is leveraging packaging in creative, interesting ways. Chocolate has carved out a niche, similar to that of coffee, tea and salt in the last couple of years, with an explosion of boutique, artisanal brands. It has been repositioned for its healthful benefits, to appeal to a youthful demographic.

Packaging plays with various types of paper and foils, mixing matte and glossy textures and of course, color! The palette shifts from its historically brown roots, embracing bright engaging hues to appeal to this new market. 

 Click here to read the full article. Browse through the slideshow below to discover some cool and colorful cocoa in the market!